“Remember me” — those famous words from Disney and Pixar’s “Coco” ring throughout Plaza de la Familia in Paradise Gardens as cast members once again celebrate the everlasting bonds of family at Disney California Adventure park.
“It’s been nice to come back and get to work with the wonderful talent we have here,” Parade Performer Andres Cano said of the return of “A Musical Celebration of Coco.” “It’s a family reunion.”
“A Musical Celebration of Coco” welcomes guests to Plaza de la Familia with a lively troupe of singers and folklórico dancers, accompanied by the Grammy Award-winning Mariachi Divas. As the lead storyteller, Mateo recounts Miguel’s fantastical journey into the Land of the Dead, immersing guests into the film’s story.
“It brings a lot of visibility to the Hispanic culture,” said Entertainment cast member Josh Forniss. “It rings a big bell in my heart because that’s my background.”
Just a short stroll into Plaza de la Familia, guests will find the iconic Mexican Árbol de la Vida (Tree of Life) and the Memory Wall, where guests can share a special memory of loved ones. Between performances, guests can create special memories with Miguel or, for those looking to explore their creativity, design paper alebrije masks of the film’s spirit guides, Dante and Pepita.
And what’s a celebration without food and music? An assortment of Mexican food from Paradise Garden Grill is best enjoyed while listening to Mariachi concerts performed on the bandstand.
Plaza de la Familia is a celebration of the spirit of Día de los Muertos, something that resonates with many cast members.
“It’s nice to see yourself represented and for guests to learn more about Días de los Muertos,” said Andres, who added that his family sets up an altar each year to honor loved ones.
Josh agreed, adding that his family marks the holiday, usually celebrated Nov. 1-2, by spending time together and visiting local events. “It’s great to see everyone’s faces light up and to be able to share culture with our guests … so that everyone feels the beauty of what it means to be a strong family in a Latino household.”
Plaza de la Familia is open daily at Disney California Adventure park through Tuesday, Nov. 2.